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A Guide to the Living Tree Orchid Essences

1% for Orchid Conservation Campaign

African Tree Essences

The Hard Pear Olinia ventosa: full information page


the Hard Pear tree

The hard pear, an evergreen tree, occurs in forests, coastal scrub and on exposed hillsides from the Cape Peninsula to just above the Transkei on the east coast of South Africa. Under forest conditions it has proven itself to be the fastest growing of all of the South African indigenous trees.

  hard pear


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Hard Pear - Tree of Forgiveness

£14.95 20ml

For releasing and processing unshed tears so that forgiveness and healing is possible. Letting go of grudges and bitterness. Helpful for post-traumatic stress.

Balances: Despair, Embittered, Grief, Post-traumatic Stress, Shock - fear & trauma

bark of hard pear tree

The bark is smooth and grayish in young trees, becoming rough and scaly with a reddish tinge as it ages. Hard pears are spectacular when in flower, for although small, the white flowers are borne in profusion and are sweetly scented. The red, berry-like fruits are eaten by a variety of birds, and are greatly relished but the baboons that visit Platbos. The fact that the seeds do not germinate easily is no doubt the reason why this beautiful tree remains relatively unknown to South African gardeners.

hard pear tree in bloom

All parts of the tree smell strongly of almonds when crushed, and the dead wood gives off a glorious incense when burnt. The Xhosa name for this tree means “tree without embers”, indicating that in spite of its perfume, it does not make good firewood. The timber is hard, heavy and comparable to walnut. It was used for telegraph poles and wagon-making in the past. Today it is mainly used for furniture and musical instruments.

hard pear with berries

The hard pears were heavily exploited for their timber in days past at Platbos: as a result very few have single straight trunks – most are large and multi-stemmed – having re-sprouted after being felled. It is perhaps for this reason that of all the trees of Platbos, this was the tree that was most difficult to connect with initially. I needed to slowly build up a relationship of trust with the hard pear Deva. She teaches us the huge healing that comes from forgiveness.


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